Procession of the Crown of Scotland – Scottish Parliament Opening Ceremony


The Crown of Scotland will feature at the Opening Ceremony of the Sixth Session of the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 2 October 2021.

The Crown of Scotland will be received by the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon at Edinburgh Castle. It will then proceed to the Scottish Parliament accompanied by Pipes and Drums of The Royal Highland Fusiliers (2 SCOTS).

The Crown of Scotland will enter the Parliament via Queensberry House. Carried by the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, it will be escorted into the courtyard of Queensberry House by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, Officers of Arms, the Royal Company of Archers and six young people from Scottish youth organisations, who are:

  • Lucy McKee is going to represent ACE Youth, Enable Scotland’s Active Community of Empowered young people who have a learning disability.
  • Andrew Will, representing Young Scot, Scotland’s information and citizenship organisation
  • Josh Kennedy MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament
  • Sholen MacPherson, representing the John Smith Centre’s Parliamentary Internship Programme
  • Mahdiya Zubairi and Natalie Bello, representing YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement.

Following the Ceremony, where the Crown of Scotland will be on display in the centre of the Parliament’s Debating Chamber, the Crown of Scotland will be returned to the Crown Room in Edinburgh Castle.

Facts on the Crown of Scotland

  • The Crown is part of the Honours of Scotland or the Scottish Regalia. The other pieces are the Sword of State and the Sceptre.
  • In early January 1540, with the imminent coronation of his new queen, Marie de Guise, King James V ordered that the Crown of Scotland, in a damaged and broken condition, was to be remodelled.
  • The task was given to an Edinburgh jeweller, John Mosman, who had less than six weeks to complete his work.
  • To the crown, which weighed a little over 1lb, Mosman added 41 ounces of Scottish gold and 23 precious stones to the existing 22 gemstones and 68 pearls (the large pearls are oriental and the smaller ones are believed to be Scottish freshwater pearls).
  • Mosman delivered the Crown to Holyrood Palace on February 13 1540, and it was first worn in public by the King on February 22 for the Queen’s Coronation.
  • In 1707, following the Act of Union, the Honours were locked away in the Crown Room at Edinburgh Castle and forgotten until they were famously rediscovered by Sir Walter Scott in 1818.
  • From the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 to the Treaty of Union in 1707, the Honours were brought down from Edinburgh Castle with great ceremony and taken to Parliament House on the Royal Mile adjacent to St Giles’ Cathedral for the state opening of Parliament. The Riding of Parliament as we know it today is thought to originate from this ceremony, though it has its origins in the 15th century, if not earlier.
  • This elaborate procession from Edinburgh Castle down the Royal Mile to Parliament became known as the Riding of Parliament. It has been reinstated since the opening of the new Scottish Parliament in 1999.  The ‘riding’ in 1999 was one of the largest ceremonial events in modern Scottish history. The Sword of State and the Sceptre are no longer in regular Royal ceremonial use.
  • Historic Environment Scotland maintains and manages Edinburgh Castle on behalf of Scottish Ministers. As part of those duties, it maintains the physical security of the Crown Room and its contents.
  • Up until the mid-1990s, the Honours were cleaned annually every February but that process was discovered to be slowly contributing to deterioration of the Honours, and a decision was made to reduce this. They are now only cleaned when required – usually around once every five years.

Contact Information

Tom Malone

The Scottish Parliament

Notes to editors


The event to mark the Opening Ceremony of the sixth session of the Scottish Parliament will be streamed live on the Scottish Parliament’s Facebook channel and on our SPTV channel.

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Tom Malone

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